Bangladesh will have to get rid of the Sri Lanka batsmen as early as possible © AFP
Bangladesh will have to get rid of the Sri Lanka batsmen as early as possible © AFP

After an eventful Day Four at the P Sara Oval, Colombo, Bangladesh will look for 2 early Sri Lanka wickets and register a historic victory in their 100th Test. Sri Lanka are leading the two-match series 1-0, which makes this match, and to be precise, Day Five, the decider. At this point, anything can happen, from a victory for either of Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, or a draw. The evenly-poised match will see Sri Lanka resume batting with Suranga Lakmal (16*) and Dilruwan Perera (26*) at the crease. Full Cricket Scorecard: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Colombo

The aim in any match is generally to play well and register a favourable result. Here, the bigger picture is the series. Looking from that aspect, Sri Lanka will not want to go for the kill as a draw will do the needful for them. With just one day left in hand, picking up 10 wickets will not be an easy job and the wiser approach will be to try and bat throughout the whole first session and keep scoring safe runs to push the lead near 170. With two sessions in hand to get to the total, the visitors will be cramped for time. The runs on the board and the lack of time will also create pressure on Bangladesh, who will have to win the match to save the series.

Talking about Bangladesh batting in the final session, Sri Lanka’s biggest weapon will be Rangana Herath. Herath has the most number of 5-fors (10)  bowling in the fourth innings and these numbers itself say how crucial a role the spinner will play on Day Five. Along with him will be Lakshan Sandakan, who is growing rapidly into another potential spin option for Sri Lanka.

For Bangladesh, the task will be to get the two Lankan batsmen out as early as possible to earn a smaller target and more time to achieve it. Batting on a Day Five pitch against a strong spin attack, such as that of Sri Lanka, will not be an easy task. However, Bangladesh have a balanced batting line-up. The batsmen need not lose their cool and try and keep themselves away from taking risks.

If the bowlers are able to restrict the target within 150, the required runs per session tallies down to 50. If the top and the middle order manage to spend ample time on the crease, Bangladesh will well be on course to their first Test victory against Sri Lanka, which would make their 100th Test even more memorable.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 338 and 268 for 8 (Dimuth Karunaratne 126, Kusal Mendis 36; Mustafizur Rahman 3 for 42, Shakib Al Hasan 3 for 61) lead Bangladesh 467 by 139 runs.